Pope Confident in Future of Church in Germany

Urges Catholics to Pursue «Path of Faith»

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LAHR, Germany, SEPT. 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Before Benedict XVI left Germany today, he expressed confidence in the future of Christianity in his homeland, and extended an invitation to the Church there to pursue «the path of faith.»

Before boarding a plane for Rome, the 84-year-old Pontiff wrapped up a four-day visit to his native Germany with a short address at a farewell ceremony at the Lahr airport.

Recalling all the highlights of his trip, which included stops in Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg, the Pope said the focus of his trip was to pray with the Catholic communities present in the various regions.

«I gladly recall our common liturgical celebrations and the joy which accompanied them, our common listening to the word of God and our union in prayer — especially in those parts of the country where efforts were made for decades to remove religion from people’s lives,» he said.

Benedict XVI affirmed his «confidence for the future of Christianity in Germany,» noting that it was clear «how many people here are bearing witness to their faith and making its transforming power present in today’s world.»

«I encourage the Church in Germany to pursue with resolute confidence the path of faith which leads people back to their roots, to the heart of the Good News of Christ,» he said. «It will be small communities of believers — and these already exist — whose enthusiasm spreads within a pluralistic society and makes others curious to seek the light which gives life in abundance.»

«Wherever God is present, there is hope: new and often unexpected horizons open up beyond the present and the ephemeral,» the Holy Father concluded. «In this sense I accompany in my thoughts and prayers the path of the Church in Germany.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33526?l=english

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